Finchingfield's Bethany Shriever crowned Young Sportswoman of the Year

Team GB's Bethany Shriever, who is from Essex, on her bike after winning the Tokyo 2020 BMX racing event

Bethany Shriever became Team GB's first BMX racing Olympic champion in July - Credit: PA

Olympic gold medallist Bethany Shriever has been crowned The Sunday Times' Young Sportswoman of the Year.

Shriever, from Finchingfield, won the award after becoming the BMX racing Olympic champion in July before winning the World Championships in August.

She made history as the first woman to hold both the Olympic and World Champion titles for BMX racing in the same year.

BMX racing Tokyo 2020 champion Beth Shriever at Heathrow Airport, London after her summer Olympic gold win

After coming home from Tokyo, Olympic champion Beth Shriever went on to become the BMX racing world champion in The Netherlands last summer - Credit: PA

Sunday Times judges said: "Bethany Shriever made history by winning BMX gold for Team GB at Tokyo 2020.

"She went unbeaten through her three semi-final runs and crossed the line just 0.090 seconds ahead of Colombia's Marian Pajon to be crowned Olympic champion in the final.

"Alongside realising her dream of becoming an Olympic champion, the 22-year-old hopes to be a role model to young female BMX riders all over the UK."

Beth Shriever and Kye Whyte celebrate their medal wins at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Beth Shriever celebrates her gold medal win with Kye Whyte, silver medallist, at Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo - Credit: PA

Shriever is a former Helena Romanes School, Great Dunmow pupil.

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She started her training at Braintree BMX club, and part-crowdfunded her training for Tokyo 2020 after a funding cut for women's BMX following the Rio 2016 games.

The "ultimate" Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year award went to Emma Raducanu.

Sunday Times journalist Rebecca Myers praised the tennis player from Bromley for being a source of inspiration and positive influence for women across the country.

She said: "Congratulations to all our winners in what has been a groundbreaking year for women's sport.

"Our very worthy Sportswoman of the Year for 2021, Emma Raducanu, made history at the US Open and inspired so many young girls and women back home with her success."

Ellie Simmonds, former Paralympic swimmer, won an award named after the late sports presenter Helen Rollason which recognises "inspirational endeavour".

Helen Rollason spent much of her broadcasting and reporting career in Essex.

Hannah Cockroft won Disability Sportswoman of the Year, Rachael Blackmore was The Sunday Times' Editor's Choice, and The Sky Sports Team of the Year award went to cyclists Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald.

Voters chose sports coach Clova Court as Grassroots Sportswoman of the Year, and women's health expert Dr Emma Ross won the Changemaker Award.